Welcome to The Game Shelf!

After getting into the board game hobby at the end of 2014, we've decided to share our thoughts on the games we're collecting on our shelves. The collection has certainly expanded over the last few years and we've been making up for lost time!

Sometimes our opinions differ, so Amy will be posting reviews every Tuesday and Fi will post on Thursdays. We hope you enjoy reading some of our opinions on board games - especially those for two players.

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Monday 2 October 2017

The Yellow Meeple Starts a Board Game Group at Work:- Week 13

We have decided to run a board game night on a monthly basis at work. In the 4 weeks since the last game night, some people have actually been asking if we can play more frequently, which is a great time and Dobble has been played on a couple of Friday lunchtime occasions too. It's a really nice change from my last job where I sometimes felt like I was forcing people to come along. This time everyone was keen to bring along food and drinks and make a really good evening. 

Week 13

Number of Attendees: 7

Games Played: Sushi Go, Dixit, Codenames, In A Bind Junior

The Successes

Excitement for another game night
It's a week later and people are already excited for another game night. We've spoken about where you buy games like this, how we can fit them into other work contexts for team building and whether we should take some games to the pub on a Friday evening. At the moment it seems that no matter what game I pick, I can't really go wrong in the eyes of this group of people.

Good feedback for new games
Although it wouldn't be my pick of a game to play, unless perhaps I was very drunk, the hit game this week was definitely In A Bind. It's nice that a group of work colleagues, most of which are still quite new are happy to act like idiots in front of each other, and there's no doubt that the most 'fun' was had whilst playing this game. Even so, I also got good feedback for Sushi Go, a game that I think paves the way for adding some more complexity in future sessions.

The Challenges

This group definitely has 'that one Guy'. The one who is looking at his phone, definitely isn't paying attention and who, when challenged, will admit that he wasn't listening to anything at all and you have to start your explanation all over again. I suppose it comes with the territory that my expectations for a game night are very different to the expectations of a group of people having a work social night, but I'm hoping that over time, the group can at least settle down for a rules explanation and then if they want to mess around whilst playing the game then that's their choice.

Splitting the group
Group size will always be a challenge for me until I can get support from another game teacher (hopefully imminently emigrating from Canada) or build cofidence and familiarity with certain games so that a small group of people can play without me. Right now, I've tried, but I haven't been able to split the group at all because everyone wants to be constantly amused and doesn't want to sit and wait whilst I teach rules to one subset of people. This does frustrate me quite a lot and it is preventing us from trying some standard gateway games that I really want to introduce.

Being at work
Running the game night in the office has definite advantages, which I highlighted in the last blog post. However, the other side of the coin is that some people are very keen to stay at their desks a little longer or go back to their desks between games. This makes it really difficuly to pick a game with the right player count and to start teaching a game when there's a risk of a player joining in half way through the teach or halfway through the game. I'm not sure I have a solution to this, so any ideas are welcome.

Lessons for Next Week

Start with a long game
My bigest disappointment was not being able to play the game of Ticket to Ride which I set up in advance. It definitely caught peoples attention and they wanted to play, but we couldn't commit early on due to the risk of some people joining the group after 10-20 minutes. When everyone was ready to play two different games, the 45 minute play time scared people away and the idea of splitting the group was also met with reluctance. Next time I'm just going to start people playing a longer game and I might have to sit-out to play with any stragglers.


  1. Fascinating to read the evolution of the ‘Works Games Night’. I found myself smiling as familiar scenarios arose; you’re not alone in feeling certain frustrations!

    In one of your earlier blogs you mentioned the pub manager wanted to chat to you. Maybe I missed it, but I’m curious to find out what they wanted to discuss! Is there a ‘Week Three blog?’ I’m part of a games club (with other local gamers, not non-gamer colleagues) that play in a pub every other Thursday nights, and the old landlord didn’t seem to like us – even though the pub was always dead on Thursdays and we gave him our bi-monthly custom. (He’s gone now and new staff run it now; maybe we drove him out?!)

    1. Hi - thanks for your interest in these blogs!

      I have no idea what happened to my week 3 blog, I might have forgotten to write one. There was a misundestanding with the manager who thought I was the actual designer of the games! He wanted to get copies for his pub to give me some publicity for my board game designs!

      I gave him some advice on good games to add to his shelf of Scrabble and Monopoly, but nothing further happened.